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OHIOTODAY SUMMER 2009

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John Kopchick • Marie Braasch • think • Ariel Hollinshead

The

• Adam Jacoby • create • Lawrence Witmer • Gerardine Botte • innova-

BIG

tion • Christine Suniti Bhat • Rathindra Bose • Michael Kushnick • experiment •

Ido Braslavsky • Dave Bayless • innovation • Orit • Karen Nulf • invent • Regina Klenjoski

Idea Celebrating

• Brian Zahm • Laura Jacqmin • Julie Cruse • Michael Grow • Jeremi Suri • Marie Tharp • think • Damian Nance • innovation • Tiera Evans • Fiona ss

S Mitchell• create • Jesse Yun • Micah Brow

• Angelic Pinckney • Gary Platt • Ron Docie• SSSSSS SS Sherrell Davis • Roger Ailes • Brian Zahm • Steven Collier • experiment • Alyssa Green • SS

S • Wes Cronk • create • Jasmine Merith • Larr

Schmidt • invent • Ronald Jones • think •

innovation at Ohio

Tim Ryan • Tadeusz Malinski • Emily Bacha •

John Blischak • invent • Jessica Hagy •

Ellery Golos • Regina Klenjoski • Mica

Brown • John Sant’ Ambrogio • Kevin Mattson • create • Cari Steiner • experiment • Raymie McKerrow • Bob Walter • Taylor-Bianco • Garrison

innovation • Garret Kisner • Howard Nolan • invent •

O’Hara • Deborah Cavanagh • Amy Spik • innovation


starts

here

10 A Lab Before Time Dinosaurs may be extinct, but they breathe new life into the work of these top-notch scientists.

12 The Big Questions From environmentally sound fuels to cancer treatments, the research at Ohio University produces inventive solutions.

14 Design Inclined Meet the talents — past, present and future — of the College of Fine Arts graphic design program.

20 What Lies Beneath An alumna’s maps gave geologists a radical view of the ocean floor.

22 Most Likely to Succeed The trailblazing first class of Urban Scholars aims high after graduation.

26 In His Own Words One of media’s prominent figures speaks out about innovation in the industry.

D E P A R T M E N T S

3 Letters 31 Bobcat Tracks 42 In Memoriam 44 Last Word

Mark Loader

I nnovation


OHIOTODAY Volume 10, Number 2, SUMMER 2009

THIS PAGE: The O Group has collected myriad awards and accolades over the years that confirm the company’s top standing in the design industry. COVER: Orit (BFA ’73), The O Group CEO and president Story, p. 14 Photo

by:

Steve Lesnick

Find us on the Web Ohio University: ohio.edu Ohio Today Online: ohio.edu/ohiotoday


T he

P resident ’ s

P erspective

OHIOTODAY

The call to progress

E ditor

Mariel Jungkunz, MS ’07

By Roderick J. McDavis

D esigner

Sarah McDowell, BFA ’02

O

hio University has a way of getting into the heart of those it impacts. Whether you are a current student, university employee, community member, alumnus or alumna, I believe you, too, understand how special this university is. It certainly has become a significant part of my life, beginning when I enrolled as a first-year student nearly 43 years ago. What always has touched me about Ohio University — even before I arrived on campus my first year — is the progressive nature of our faculty, our students and our staff. Now, back when I was in school, “progressive” was not necessarily meant as a compliment. I believe the nickname for Ohio University was “the Berkeley of the Backwoods.” But I found that for me, Ohio University was a place for freedom of thought, freedom from the constraints of doing what always was done before. As a student studying education, I was encouraged to absorb all the university had to offer. And my professors gave me permission — actually they commanded me — to embrace this freedom to dream and to consider what my place in the world would be. Today, the word that we use to define what is progressive is “innovation.” If one looks back at significant events in American history, it is clear Ohio University was at the forefront of efforts to solve our young nation’s problems through innovation. Ohio University was a place where those seeking access to a greater opportunity found a home: pioneers settling the Northwest Territory; a freed slave pursuing a college degree 36 years before the Emancipation Proclamation; veterans returning home from World War II and transitioning into a post-war America; and students seeking connections to a global community during the current technological revolution. With each change affecting our region, our country and our world, we have answered the call of progress. Our community joined together. Collective sacrifices were made. Most importantly, innovative ideas were conceived and implemented. Our world today asks nothing less of us now. In fact, it demands that we be a university community of innovators! As we look toward the future of Ohio University, we can see that faculty, staff, students and alumni will continue to answer the call. I am proud that this issue of Ohio Today is dedicated to those at Ohio University who are leading the way in innovations that will undoubtedly change our world, how we live and the quality of the lives we lead. BELOW: Second-year medical students Meredith Violet (left) and Michelle Wallen participate in a summer research project studying Type 2 diabetes at Konneker Research Center.

PH O TO G R APH E R

Rick Fatica C ontributors

Gina Beach, BSJ ’09, BS ’09 Lindsey Burrows, BSJ ’09 Deanna Kerslake, BSJ ’08 Samantha Kinhan, BSJ ’09 Jennifer Krisch Annah Abetti Korpi, MS ’10 Samantha Pirc, BSJ ’10 Kelee Garrison Riesbeck, BSJ ’91 Mary Reed, BSJ ’90 Samuel Venable, BSJ ’06 Printer

The Watkins Printing Co.

Ohio University President

Roderick J. McDavis, BSED ’70 vice president of university Advancement ceo of the ohio university foundation

Howard Lipman executive director O F C O M M U N I C ATI O N S and mark eting

Renea Morris S enior director O F M AR KE TI N G C O M M U NICATIONS

Gina Calcamuggio, BA ’92 Assistant vice president for alumni relations executive director of the Alumni association

Graham Stewart director of marketing and communication for the ohio university alumni association

Jan Miller-Fox, BFA ’77 director, advancement

Tracy R. Galway, BSC ’93, MPA ’03 B oard of Trustees

C. Robert Kidder, chair M. Marnette Perry, vice chair Sandra J. Anderson, BS ’73 David Brightbill, BSED ’70 Yvette McGee Brown, BSJ ’82 Norman E. Dewire, BSED ’58 Gene T. Harris, PHD ’99 Larry L. Schey David Wolfort, AB ’74 Chauncey Jackson, student trustee Kyle Triplett, student trustee Frank P. Krasovec, BBA ’65, MBA ’66, national trustee Charles R. Stuckey Jr., BSME ’66, national trustee Dennis Minichello, AB ’74, MA ’74, alumni chair Thomas E. Davis, BGS ’73, secretary William R. Decatur, treasurer Ohio Today will publish two times this academic year, in December and June. The magazine is produced by University Advancement with funding provided by The Ohio University Foundation. Views expressed in the magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or university policies. Copyright 2009 by Ohio University Ohio University is an affirmative action institution.

To contact us

Rick Fatica

Editorial offices are located at Scott Quad 173, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701-2979. Send story ideas, items for Bobcat Tracks or comments about the magazine to that address, e-mail them to ohiotoday@ohio.edu or call the editor, Mariel Jungkunz, 740-593-1891.

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Address changes may be made by visiting www.ohioalumni.org. Address changes and information for In Memoriam also may be sent to Advancement Services, HDL Center 168, Athens, Ohio 45701-0869 or e-mailed to ohiotoday@ohio.edu. To reach the Ohio University switchboard, call 740-593-1000.


F ROM T HE I N B OX

As we prepared the Fall/Winter 2008 issue of Ohio Today we discovered photos from a 1968 mock Republican convention and chose one (above) for publication. While we found hundreds of photos of this nationally televised event, we had little written information about the proceedings. We issued a call to alumni to share their stories; here is what they had to say. (Additional letters and full text for all letters are available online at www.ohio.edu/ohiotoday.)

Look, Ma, it’s me! Imagine my surprise when upon looking through my Fall/Winter 2008 copy of Ohio Today I see a very youthful photo of myself on the back cover! I am the young man with the striped tie in the middle of the picture (above). The year 1968 was my first presidential election in which to vote. The voting age then was 21, and with a Nov. 1 birthday, I turned that age just several days before the election. It was also my first, and last, time to vote for a Republican presidential candidate! Oh, if only we could have predicted the Nixon presidency. My vote was mostly an anti-Vietnam War vote, as I am sure was the case for many others at that mock political convention. After leaving Athens, I moved to Georgia at the U.S. Army’s request. (I had one of those incredibly low lottery numbers in the draft. But I was lucky and never had to go fight a war I didn’t believe in.) I made Georgia my home and now work for the Georgia Department of Labor in the area of vocational rehabilitation and assistive technology. It’s been a good career and an opportunity to help people with disabilities. I have been married to an OU classmate (Darla Grow, BSHS ’71 and MA ’72) for 36 years. I still have family in Ohio, and up until two years ago, I’d journey back to the campus in April to run the Athens Marathon.

Forty years later, and politics and elections are still exciting. I thank Ohio U. for my education, and for being part of a time in our history when going to college was more than just attending classes. John “Jack” Gilson, BA ’70, MA ’72 Fayetteville, Ga.

A smoke-filled room The photograph of the 1968 mock political convention brings back many memories. During the spring of 1968, Roger Scholl (AB ’74) and I were finishing our freshman year. Roger had been an active Young Republican in high school. He was excited by the mock convention and worked to become a state chairman. Forty years have blurred many details; I believe he took the reins of the great state of Georgia. He recruited me to join the delegation. I assumed that we would be observers of a great spring spectacle. Roger had a different idea. During the speeches by the candidates, we organized the Southern block. We negotiated that during the first roll call vote the Southern block would pass. After the first vote, as best I can remember, Florida and a few other states joined the Southern block. We voted again as a block and during that vote, I distinctly remember turning to Roger and with absolute astonishment saying, “Roger, we’re running this show.” He just grinned. After the second roll call vote, New York came to us, and in a smoke-filled room, we negotiated an acceptable candidate.

An interesting footnote to this story is that I do not remember whom we nominated. I remember a pervasive naiveté on campus. During the 1967–68 academic year, women still had “hours,” members of the opposite sex were not allowed in dorm rooms and students had to dress for Sunday dinner. The administration asserted “in loco parentis,” meaning that they assumed some sort of parental obligations over the students. Route 33 was a narrow umbilical to civilization. Long-distance telephone calls cost something like 30 cents a minute. Much of our news came via Parkersburg, W.Va. In many ways, that convention was the swan song for Athens’ age of innocence. Campus was a much different place in the fall of 1968. Perhaps, there are a thousand points of view, an equal number of stories and many more lessons as a result of the mock convention. I learned that a little power can first influence and then invigorate many people. Perhaps most importantly, I have a great appreciation for our current system of primary elections. While an election season now is a couple years long, and we are inundated with nonsense, the alternative is much worse. Bob Wuerth, BS ’71, MS ’73 Brecksville, Ohio

End of an era I was ready to toss my latest Ohio Today in the recycling bin when the backS U M M E R

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FROM THE IN BOX page photo of the 1968 mock Republican convention caught my eye. Was I in attendance, you ask? As a proud, but bewildered, delegate from one of the Dakotas, hell yes, I was in attendance, sport coat, tie and all. Bewildered, because I have no idea how I, as a staunch progressive, left-wing liberal ended up being a delegate from one of the Dakotas and supporting Tricky Dick Nixon. To this day, I still haven’t figured that one out. Somewhere, though, I still have the “Nixon for President” pin I wore as we marched around Grover Center. But what really struck me from the photo is that for a bunch of dopesmoking, hippie radicals and outside agitators (as college students of that era were commonly portrayed in the media), we were really a pretty cleancut and well-dressed bunch. But then again, we mustn’t forget that it was a mock Republican convention. So what do I really remember about the convention? We were a bunch of young, naive, starry-eyed kids playing an adult game in Grover Center. When the day was over, we drifted back to our dorms or to the Lantern or the Union for a (legal) 3.2 beer (or two), and the next day we were back to being students again.  The bigger political eye-opener for me occurred later that summer at a real convention in Chicago, when I watched TV with both fascination and horror as the Chicago police bashed in the heads of real hippies (and anyone else standing nearby) with such malice outside the Democratic convention.  That was the evening when some of my naiveté, just like Elvis later on, left the arena. Steven Mills, BA ’70 Hilliard, Ohio

Unsafe at any speed The picture of the 1968 mock Republican convention in the Fall/ Winter 2008 issue really brought back memories. As one of the officers of the Pennsylvania delegation, I was hurrying to it from my trailer in Chauncey when my “unsafe at any speed” Corvair locked up its brakes on a wet curve on Route 13. The only thing that stopped me from ending up in the Hocking River was a bunch of trees that the car wedged into. Physically, I got only a few cuts, a seat belt burn, and lots of bumps and bruises.

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Mentally, however, I must’ve been in shock because after scrambling up the embankment, I went right back down again to save my precious eight-track tapes before the stupid car would catch on fire. Also, I thought the policeman who showed up wouldn’t be able to tell how fast I’d been going, so I told him it was the speed limit. Chauncey’s finest added insult to injury because on top of totaling the new car, I received a ticket for conditional speed because of the wet road! At least he gave me a lift into town so I could take part in the convention. It’s hard to believe it was over 40 years ago now! Lee Borgman, BA ’68  Hardy, Va.

Loud not always better I read with great interest the back page of the Fall/Winter 2008 issue, for I was a participant. I had been recruited to play in a pep-style band for the convention. As the only sousaphone playing in said band, I was constantly being urged by the student director to play louder all of the convention. A formal symphonic band concert had been scheduled for the following Sunday. As a result of all of the loud playing that I had done on Saturday, I was able to scarcely sound a note for the formal band concert! I came away from this experience having learned two things: 1) Be in better shape both physically and musically, and, 2) don’t, don’t ever play that loudly again! Dale Holshu, BMUS ’71 Marietta, Ohio

Edwards and Bruce Armitage singing our times — these are just some of the vivid memories I have of that time. Things were becoming crazily un-buttoned down and not altogether collegiate. There was static in the air, and the times, they were a changin’. By the time this convention was happening on campus, I had “plugged out” of the sorority/fraternity and J-Prom scene and was hooking into national civil rights and anti-war movements. I married my OU college sweetheart in 1969, and we bought land in Northern California with another couple from our Athens days. We “homesteaded” in that grand backto-the-land movement that embraced so many college graduates then. Many strong projects and community organizing grew out of our efforts — and are still perking along nicely. I am blessed to this day to have gone to Athens in 1964 and left a more sober, more idealistic, more informed, young American, challenged by the world and the possibilities it afforded, the participation that I could manifest and the change I could help effect. I was part of something there. It was and still is part of the very real and deep essence of my life. Susan Horner Husted Stuart, BA ’68 Santa Cruz, Calif.

Forty years later

Yes, I was in attendance at the mock Republican Convention in April of 1968. I looked at that picture on the back of the issue of Ohio Today and wondered where the last 40 years have gone.  I can’t remember much about the details of that convention, only to say Back to basics that I still have my California delegate I love the photo on the back cover of badge with its red ribbon attached. I the magazine. Attending OU from 1964 guess I just wanted to be involved at a to 1968 and graduating that spring, I time when there was so much tension recognize students in it. There was so much going on that spring — let’s not just in our country, from the death of Martin Luther King Jr. only weeks before that remember the glossy version of events. mock convention, to the continuing social Your caption states “hot issues were unrest caused by the war in Vietnam. the Vietnam War, international relations  Even before the mock convention, I and education,” but I hesitate to struggled as to why I should be supporting embrace that list, leaving education and Richard Nixon and the Republican Party, international relations on the far back burner. The National Guard patrolling Court and in the weeks that followed, I became a supporter of Bobby Kennedy. As the and Union streets in jeeps with machine school year was coming to a close, I guns quite visible, the demonstration signed up to go with a group to Indiana at President Alden’s home, the antito support Kennedy and pass out war protests, closing campus early for literature. I’ll never forget coming down spring break because of a union strike, into the lounge in Perkins Hall that morning the Psychedelic Lighthouse, Jonathan


Materials Laboratory at Wright–Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. One month after the publication of The article brought back fond the Fall/Winter 2008 issue, Assistant memories of my employment at SRL. Professor of Photojournalism Pete Even though it was a corporation, you Souza (whose image of President were treated like a part of one very Barack Obama appeared on the large family. During the Christmas holiday cover) was named the official White season, Dr. Russ would tour all the House photographer for the Obama employee locations at Wright–Patterson to administration. On extended leave from personally shake each employee’s hand his teaching duties at Ohio University, and to wish them happy holidays. Souza continues to make history: He One year, Dr. Russ was making his is the first photographer to shoot the holiday greeting round, and he was president’s official portrait digitally. wearing on his jacket lapel a plastic, smiling Santa Claus brooch. As he To read more about Souza and his greeted you, he would pull on a cord appointment, visit ohio.edu/ohiotoday. dangling from the Santa Claus face, and the face would brightly light up from in-a-lifetime chance for the university to to hear that Kennedy had been shot and a battery and a light bulb inside the restructure courses.” Maybe once in the killed. Obviously, our trip was canceled. brooch. He really enjoyed that gadget. lifetime of some people, but certainly at  The spring of 1968 was a tough Someone in our work group (there were least twice in the lifetimes of some of quarter to be in school; the death of eight of us) thought that it would really be King and Kennedy, along with the historic the rest of us. I guess what goes around cute if we could locate and purchase the comes around. flood of the Hocking with its muddy same gadget. We each purchased one Gene Maeroff, BSJ ’61 and gathered in the hallway the following water rushing through the East Green, Edison, N.J. year, and as Dr. Russ and his entourage changed a lot of us as students. And yet after 40 years, it is a bit ironic that we rounded the corner, we all started flashing as a nation have finally embraced what our Santa Claus brooches. Everyone had A presidential couple Martin and Bobby were fighting for with a great laugh with that! The profile about Wayne Adams (BFA respect to human and civil rights and The passing of SRL as a company ’52) in Ohio Today’s Fall/Winter 2008 have now elected a man of color as our was a sad period of time for many, issue brought back memories of John president. I hope the passing years have and Elizabeth Baker, who were possibly many people; sadder yet was the loss taught us it doesn’t matter whether you the most gracious and caring presidential of this wonderful, kind and gentle man. are a Republican or a Democrat, black The “Russ Legacy” continues for me team OU has ever had. They are never or white; peaceful political activism can personally, and many others, as I am far from my thoughts. lead to change.  currently employed at Universal Energy I would often see President Baker Now, if we could only figure out how to strolling about campus greeting students. Systems Inc., a company that was end the wars that we continue to seek. I As a freshman, I was invited to their home founded by a former scientist at SRL. hope it doesn’t take another 40 years — on Park Place for a reception honoring highThanks so much for the insightful but it probably will. article, and thanks for allowing me to achieving students. For me, as an Athens Ron Moss, BBA ’71 boy on scholarship, it was a signal honor. share my story. Canton, Ohio Scott Apt, BFA ’81 I apologize for my scrawl in this letter. Dayton, Ohio Because I was in the arts section at Athens High School, neither I nor the Change — but for whom? other boys were encouraged to learn to The question-and-answer article (Fall/ Winter 2008) about the university altering type. A pity. Virtually my whole working career was in programming, systems and Ohio Today welcomes letters from readers. its academic calendar from quarters to management of computers. I hunted and semesters and the advantages cited We reserve the right to edit for grammar, pecked my way through 23 years! for doing so sounded a familiar theme. space, clarity, style and civility. Please Robert Bigley, BA ’54 include your Ohio University affiliation, When I was an education reporter for The Cincinnati, Ohio address and a daytime telephone number. Plain Dealer in the 1960s, Vernon Alden, then the president of Ohio University, told Here are some ways to share your letters me in an interview that he was changing The Russ legacy lives on with us: the calendar from semesters to quarters I was thrilled by the Fall/Winter 2008 •Send e-mail to ohiotoday@ohio.edu because it would get faculty members to issue featuring the story of Fritz and •Address mail to: restructure their courses to conform to Dolores Russ (“The Russ Legacy: Built Ohio Today, Scott Quad 173, the new arrangement. to Last”). I am a former employee of Ohio University Now, I read that Ohio is going back in Athens, Ohio 45701-2979 Systems Research Laboratory and the other direction because it “is a once•Fax letters to 740-593-1887 worked on a contract at the U.S. Air Force Pete Souza

The rest of the story

Write to us

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BigIDEA The

PEOPLE WHO CAN CHANGE THE WORLD

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t starts here. With a class or a conversation. A professor’s encouragement. A project or a book. And an idea develops. It leads to others. Tried and tested, some are rejected. Others succeed. The result? A lifetime of innovation. This issue is dedicated to the professors, alumni and students who — inspired by their educations — have devoted their life’s work to the pursuit of new knowledge. Artists, scientists, leaders and scholars are represented alike; the one thing they have in common is Ohio University. For doctoral candidate Adam Jacoby, the link to the university is evident daily: He conducts a groundbreaking EXPERIMENT under the guidance of Nobel Prize-nominee Professor Tadeusz Malinski. Physicist-turneddancer Julie Cruse’s computer program could revolutionize the art of choreography;

FIRST: Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and Industrial Hygiene Tim Ryan has developed the first Ohio University

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EXPERIMENT

CREATE

THINK

INVENT

John Kopchick

Orit

Marie Tharp

Roger Ailes

Marie Braasch

Karen Nulf

Damian Nance

Cari Steiner

Ariel Hollinshead

Regina Klenjoski

Michael Grow

Gary Platt

Adam Jacoby

Brian Zahm

Kevin Mattson

Ron Docie

Lawrence Witmer

Laura Jacqmin

Jeremi Suri

Larry Schmidt

Gerardine Botte

Julie Cruse

Urban Scholars

Fiona Mitchell

Christine Suniti Bhat

Jessica Hagy

Honors Tutorial College

Jesse Yun

Rathindra Bose

Graphic design class of ’09

Michael Kushnick Dave Bayless

Illustrations

by: Jeremy

Blazer

Ido Braslavsky

it’s based on work she began to CREATE at Ohio University, where she made a surprising switch in majors. Alumnus Jeremi Suri, a professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, has original ideas about the forces of history; he credits Contemporary History Institute professors with inspiring him to THINK about the world in new ways. Gary Platt came to Athens a trombonist and left a recording whiz. Not content with his own success, he found a way to pass along what he had learned, daring to envision and INVENT media arts schools to train the future leaders of the music industry — and thus ensuring the cycle of innovation would start again. These are the stories of Ohio University, and they are a testament to the pioneering vision of the university’s founding fathers.

class to incorporate iPods as a mobile learning tool. • FIRST: At 27, Jake Sigal, BSIS ’03 and MS ’05, is an established innovator in

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What is your approach to research and problem solving?

As we define the problem, we start asking and answering questions. We do the initial experiment, then collaborate when necessary with expert clinical scientists around the world who can help us with specific areas. This approach is rewarding, but practical, too, because more expert minds on a problem increase the value of the work. So a team effort is a key to scientific success?

Yes. And you have to love what you do. We have a very close team here, and we also like getting together socially each month. Liking what you do, interacting with good people, scientific interactions — that’s what makes for rewarding work. Did you always know you were going to be a scientist?

No! I started out as a history major. Then I took a biology course and was exposed to the fact that an egg and a sperm meet and go from one cell to 10 million and on and on. I found that to be an amazing thing! I don’t know how anyone can’t be in awe of that. It piqued my curiosity, so I switched to biology.

John Kopchick, Goll-Ohio Eminent Scholar and Professor of Molecular Biology Teamwork, close collaboration, curiosity. These terms define the work of John Kopchick. He and his colleagues focus on the molecular biology of growth, obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes and aging — an ambitious set of problems by anyone’s standards. Kopchick’s creative work in the lab has led to the patent of Somavert, a drug that treats acromegaly, a rare disease characterized by abnormal growth of the hands, feet and face. What makes this scientist tick? To find out, we sat down with him in his office at Edison Biotechnology Institute. ABOVE: At his office at the university’s Edison Biotechnology Institute, John Kopchick looks at a ring-sizing tool used to examine the symptoms of acromegalic individuals. Following successful treatment of the disease, ring size should decrease.

Kevin Riddell

What do you think the future of medicine will be like?

We have 22,000 human genes, and scientists know the activity and function of only one-third of them. Discovering the function of the other two-thirds will lead to the ability to define the problem and understand the exact cause of genetic mutations. This is called functional genomics. This knowledge will create medicine tailored exactly to each individual person. You have worked with several medical doctors. Ever wanted to be one?

No. I learned that when I interned with Dr. Ralph Arlington (at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston). He treated pediatric cancer patients, and I just don’t have the heart for it. I would have been too sympathetic. I’ll stick with working in the lab. — Kelee Garrison Riesbeck

the consumer electronic industry and designed the first USB turntable to convert vinyl to CD or MP3 formats. • BEST: The university’s

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Marie Braasch Senior, biological science/psychology

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hio University senior Marie Braasch has yet to start a career in neurological research, but her potential to make an impact is already clear. A biological science and psychology double major, Braasch has studied turtles in Maryland, stem cells in Singapore and genes in Oregon. In her free time, she has learned to belly dance, taken tae kwon do classes and written a historical fiction novel. Did we mention she is only 18? Braasch took classes at Ohio while a junior in high school and enrolled fulltime as a freshman at 15. Her work on a variety of research projects inspired her to shift her field of study from stem cells to neuropsychology, a combination of psychology and neuroscience. “I have just always wanted to know how the world works,” says Braasch, explaining why she explored before settling on her future career. Her senior thesis examines brain activity and memory in the elderly. Associate Professor of Psychology Julie Suhr describes Braasch as one of the brightest and most educated students she has worked with, noting that her maturity sets her apart. “(Marie) knows where she wants to go and how she’s going to go about getting there,” Suhr says. “She goes above and beyond whatever you ask her to do.” After graduation, Braasch will pursue a doctoral degree in neuropsychology or cognitive neuroscience. However, the next step will take Braasch to the University of Newcastle in Australia, where she plans to enroll in liberal arts courses because, she says, she’ll enjoy them. “To consider myself educated, I need to be a well-rounded person,” she says. — Samantha Pirc

Ariel Hollinshead, AB ’51 Professor emerita of medicine, George Washington University

At age 12, Ariel Hollinshead taught piano to a young neighbor with leukemia. When he died, the loss inspired a lifelong interest in helping others through science. Her work on antiviral drugs and vaccines at George Washington University Medical Center from 1954 to 1990 paved the way for major cancer research and helped establish a vaccine to induce dormancy in lung cancer. Among other honors, she was named the Bicentennial Medical Woman of the Year by the Joint Board of American Medical Colleges in 1976.

Diego Robles

Adam Jacoby Doctoral candidate, biochemistry When not climbing mountains or bicycling with his mentor, Adam Jacoby collaborates with the Nobel Prize-nominated Professor of Chemistry Tadeusz Malinski on a revolutionary treatment for Lou Gehrig’s disease. Still in the test phase, the treatment extends the life of mice afflicted with the disease by 30 to 40 percent. After graduation in June, Jacoby will continue his work on neurodegenerative diseases.

Global Learning Community received the Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education, which recognizes the top eight

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Larry Witmer Professor of anatomy When looking at a dinosaur fossil, College of Osteopathic Medicine Professor Lawrence Witmer sees more than just bones: He sees a living, breathing creature whose inner workings remain a mystery. Take a tour of “WitmerLab” — a place where prehistoric forms meet pioneering technologies.

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1. Tyrannosaurus rex is a common research subject in WitmerLab and a favorite with visitors, who range from kids to documentary crews from the BBC, Discovery Channel and National Geographic, which visited four times just last year alone.

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2. The lab has emerged as a well-integrated machine of undergraduate and graduate students, technicians and postdoctoral fellows, all churning out new scientific findings and making their mark as the next generation of scholars. 3. Medical imaging techniques, including CT scanning, are combined with innovative 3-D computer modeling to visualize dinosaurs in new ways. 4. Dinosaur and animal skulls are shipped to WitmerLab from all corners of the globe — every continent except Antarctica — for scanning and analysis. 5. Exact replicas of fossil skulls, scattered around the lab, provide important reference for rare fossils that have been studied in the lab and returned to their museums. 6. Modern-day dinosaur relatives, such as birds and this large alligator (a roadkill victim), are dissected to better understand the soft tissues that clothed and animated dinosaur skeletons.

9. When scientific inspiration needs to be supplemented with musical inspiration, Witmer and his guitars are never far away.

Neil Ever Osborne, OU-COM and

8. Dinosaurs aren’t the only stars here. Saber-tooth cats, “terror pigs” and other predatory mammals are also studied.

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John Sattler

7. Modern-day animals preserved in jars of alcohol (or stored in the walk-in freezer) provide a dissection “library” for research on muscles, brains and blood vessels.

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U.S. international education programs. • ONLY: The College of Osteopathic Medicine is the only U.S. institution to offer a postdoctoral

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fellowship focusing on the study of diabetes. • ONLY: The only facility of its kind in the United States, the Avionics Engineering Center

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Q: What’s smelly but can fuel a car?

Rick Fatica

Driving home from a seminar on fuel cell technology, Gerardine Botte was struck with a notion. Her idea was based on water electrolysis, a process used to produce hydrogen energy from water. Botte, an associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, took the concept to the next level: Instead of clean water, what if it were possible to use wastewater? “You could remove the ammonia from wastewater, convert it to hydrogen energy, and it would be better, because you’d be remediating and producing clean energy,” says Botte. What resulted was a first-of-its-kind fuel cell technology, known as the “ammonia electrolytic cell,” that allows hydrogen to be produced on demand. It’s an efficient and environmentally sound process; compared to water electrolysis, ammonia electrolysis consumes 95 percent less energy and produces more hydrogen. The ammonia itself comes from a renewable supply. Botte estimates more than 5 million tons of ammonia enter the waste stream as human and animal urine each year in the United States. If it seems like an unlikely fuel source, Botte will do her best to convince you otherwise. “I think ammonia is our future fuel,” she says. “It’s green, renewable, and we know how to transport it and work with it.” Since its inception, Botte’s idea of ammonia electrolysis has blossomed into several projects. At Ohio University, she enlists the help of five graduate students who each cover specific branches of ammonia electrolysis research, including potential automobile and residential applications. In November, Botte’s Electrochemical Engineering Research Laboratory received a $2.23 million federal grant to adapt the concept for military use. Under the “Silent Camp Initiative,” she’ll work with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Construction, Engineering Research Laboratory to provide backup power for training facilities and soldier camps at night. The system could cut long-term costs for fuel and decrease susceptibility to attacks against fuel supply lines. If successful, there could be promising potential for the commercialization of the ammonia electrolytic cell. Botte takes pride in the fact that the cell had its beginnings at Ohio University. “It was born here and is unique to this university,” she says. — Samantha Kinhan

Q: How do you stop a bully? Bullies who taunt not on the playground but through the use of technology are the research focus of Christine Suniti Bhat, assistant professor of counselor education. Few studies have targeted these “cyberbullies,” who might use text messaging, instant messaging or e-mail to harass peers. Bhat has presented internationally on the topic and specializes in education efforts for counselors and parents who can prevent bullying or aid a victim.

Q: Can we target cancer more effectively? A new class of compounds called phosphaplatins can effectively kill ovarian, testicular, head and neck, and other cancer cells with potentially less toxicity than conventional drugs, according to a study by lead author Rathindra Bose, vice president for research and a professor of biomedical sciences and chemistry at Ohio University. The findings, says Bose, suggest a “paradigm shift” in the development of cancer treatments. The compounds could have fewer side effects than current drugs on the market, such as cisplatin, because they activate specific cancer-killing genes and don’t penetrate the cell nucleus. Patents are pending on the work. Currently, Bose and his co-workers are testing the compounds in mice models.

has been the aviation industry leader in research, development and evaluation of electronic navigation, communication and surveillance

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Q: What if carbohydrates weren’t so bad? The experts always say it: Avoid carbohydrates. But what if the quality of carbohydrates in food could be altered to achieve a more desirable effect? Ohio University researcher Michael Kushnick is working to uncover this effect. Kushnick, assistant professor of exercise physiology in the School of Recreation and Sports Sciences, has teamed with food scientists from Purdue University to study the glycemic response, or amount of sugar released into the blood, for specific foods. This response has been widely publicized as the glycemic index. Certain foods release sugars into

the bloodstream more slowly and are reported to be beneficial to health, helping to treat or even prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes. Unfortunately, the mode of cooking some foods that are considered to be healthy, such as potatoes, may negatively alter the glycemic index, causing sugars to be released more quickly and creating an unhealthy response. Through their research, the food scientists have successfully modified test foods to tailor the glycemic response, Kushnick says. In his portion of the collaborative studies, he applies these findings to attempt to understand how

the body handles the carbohydrate, so that these processes can be used in the future to promote health and reduce the burden of chronic diseases. With help from a USDA grant, the team is investigating how the body digests and responds to sugars in a series of ongoing projects — even how breakfast affects the body’s response to meals later in the day. — Jennifer Krisch

Q: Is freezer burn avoidable? Ice. It freezes crops, damages organs intended for transplants and alters food as it preserves it. But science has a solution: Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy Ido Braslavsky studies a naturally occurring antifreeze protein that prevents ice growth and could combat freezer burn. A member of Ohio University’s Nanoscale and Quantum Phenomena Institute, Braslavsky is one of 27 professors studying engineering at the nano scale. Nanotechnology — as this cutting-edge field is known — has applications in areas as diverse as medicine and electronics. Braslavsky’s research team, including three graduate students, uses a unique fluorescent protein to illuminate the inner workings of the antifreezing protein as it attaches to an ice crystal. Jack Frost may never look the same.

Rick Fatica

Q: What can we do to “green”our skies? Take a glob of algae, add sunlight — and what have you got? A lean, green, cleanup machine. Ohio University Professor of Mechanical Engineering Dave Bayless and a team of faculty and researchers at the Ohio Coal Research Center have developed one of the most efficient fiber optic-based algae bioreactors on the market. A bioreactor provides algae with light, nutrients, water and carbon dioxide — the basic elements for plant growth — with an end goal in mind. For example, algae can process carbon dioxide from a polluting coal power plant to produce more algae to be used as fuel or feedstock. Bayless’ unique model harnesses sunlight more effectively via collectors and optical fibers, allowing engineers to grow algae in the massive quantities needed to make an impact.

systems. • BEST: Howard Nolan, BSAE ’57, co-founded one of the largest African American-owned architectural firms in the U.S.

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Mark Loader

Orit, BFA ’73 President and CEO, The O Group

• FIRST: Jim Dine, BFA ’57, was a pioneer of the Pop Art movement, along with contemporaries Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.

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— Samantha Pirc

Seniors of the graphic design program, BFA ’09

In keeping with the theme of innovation, Ohio Today asked the graduating seniors of the School of Art graphic design program to brainstorm visual concepts for the issue. With the help of program chair Don Adleta, 20 students used one hour of class time to produce sketches for the opening spread of the issue (pages 6–7) and the colorful icons used throughout. Two students worked to refine the top ideas into a final, polished design. Interested in seeing more? View a slideshow of their proposals at www.ohio.edu/ohiotoday/seniordesignclass.

Karen Nulf of

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rit, who doesn’t use a last name, is her own personal brand. Branding is what the president and CEO of The O Group does best, and is the culmination of many skills she has perfected during more than 20 years in the graphic design and marketing industries. Through four name changes and three locations, Orit has built The O Group into one of the most successful boutique graphic design firms in New York. Most recently, it was honored with two American Graphic Design Awards from among 10,000 entries, and its logo and packaging ideas for the gourmet cookie company Ruby et Violette made it one of the first studios recognized by Creative Quarterly, The Journal of Art and Design. A strategy and design firm catering to luxury brands, The O Group works with clients such as Lacoste, Robert Marc and Moët Hennessy USA. The firm uniquely models itself after an ad agency, utilizing account executives, designers and production artists to consistently exceed clients’ expectations. “Once you experience the O difference, you don’t go anywhere else,” Orit says, noting that some of her clients have been with her for well over a decade. As an undergraduate, Orit intended to major in architecture but struggled with the discrimination in the industry and the perception that women were better suited to study interior design. Orit, who loves to illustrate and paint, switched her major to graphic design. “When I started taking classes, I knew I had found my place,” she says. Young and with no real-world experience, Orit moved to New York City after graduation and landed her first job at ABC-TV in corporate communications. This early success taught her an important lesson about giving college grads a chance, which she does often. Some of her current employees joined the firm fresh out of college and have worked with her for their entire careers. After heading up the graphic design departments for other large organizations, including Mego Toys and Doubleday Publishing, Orit went into business for herself in 1986. While still working as creative director of Video Review, she launched Orit Design and became a one-woman graphic design company. Ever the innovator, she had a fresh approach: “I didn’t do a business plan; I didn’t do what a lot of people do,” Orit says. “I let my passion for great design lead me.” Although she was entering a competitive, male-dominated field, she didn’t have any fears about becoming successful. She relied on her talent, experience and contacts to build her business. “I just went for it. And it worked,” she says, matter-of-factly. As CEO, design is no longer a part of her daily work. Today, Orit is proud to represent and speak for the company she built from the ground up, and to provide the leadership for her agency. “I love my business. I love my work. I love what we do.”

Karen Nulf Professor emerita of art, artist When asked to name a memorable professor at Ohio University, Orit is quick to reply: Karen Nulf, who chaired the design department at the time. “She was tough and fair and wonderful,” she says. “She was really fabulous.” To this, Nulf, who is still fabulous and now retired after four decades of shaping generations of designers, responds, “I pushed the students as far as they could be pushed. People respect you more when you make it hard.” The daughter of an architect, Nulf knew as a little girl she would be an artist. It was not until she graduated with her first master’s degree in painting (her second being in film), that she decided to pursue a career in design. “It was easier to make a living as a woman designer than a woman painter,” she reflects of the time. She began teaching media and animation in Athens in 1967. While her design aesthetics would eventually grow to appreciate the work of Emil Ruder from the Swiss School of Design, as well as legendary Japanese designer Tanakami (whom she counts as a good friend), Nulf says her first students were her true inspiration. “A real profound effect for me was the politically active climate of the time,” she says. “The students talked back and were challenging. Asking those type of questions — it really was sort of revolutionary.” — Sarah McDowell

ABOVE: During an anti-war protest in 1969, Karen Nulf stands on the green with a crew of young activists: (left to right), native Athenian Sarah Jessica Parker, Nulf’s daughter Adele and Sarah’s sister.

• BEST: John Sant’Ambrogio, MFA ’59, retired from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and is embarking on a new career of taking

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Regina Klenjoski, BBA ’93, BFA ’93, founder of the Regina Klenjoski Dance Company

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egina Klenjoski is an unceasing innovator. She explores movement every day through aerial arabesques and magnetic floor combinations that seem to defy the laws of gravity. Her work has been cited as “visually stunning” and “intelligently conceived” by publications including the Los Angeles Times. “I’m not a big fan of literal,” she says. “I like to dig deep and get at the crux of the concept.” Her company’s repertoire of 20 dances reveals this sentiment in works such as “Dear Mimmy,” based on the stories of a Serbian girl after civil war, and “Streetscapes,” an abstract illustration of the sounds and sights of city life. Her contemporary dances are choreographed in tandem with music composition. Klenjoski and the musician embark on a journey of organic exploration, feeding each other’s creativity until the story of the dance emerges. She fine-tunes that story as the composer fine-tunes the music. She prefers original music — otherwise the experience is “like buying off the rack rather than having a fashion stylist.” Klenjoski came to Ohio University with no formal dance training and enrolled in the College of Business. After taking modern dance for fun, she auditioned for

Authenticity. Perseverance. Curiosity. Those are the necessary elements of innovation for dancer Regina Klenjoski. She is an awardwinning choreographer in Long Beach, Calif., who founded the six-member Regina Klenjoski Dance Company in 1999. the dance program. Although it was the “scariest decision,” and one her parents did not support, she took the risk. “I just went on instinct,” she says. “I believe in destiny.” Her first ballet class was her audition. She was admitted for her natural facility and ability, which was demonstrated in her audition piece. Her passion has always been and still is choreography. “The fact that they took me in changed my life,” she says. “I don’t know where I’d be otherwise.”

Her senior piece, “Somewhere From Within,” was chosen to represent Ohio University in the American College Dance Festival Association and was selected as one of the festival’s best. That distinction was recognized by Columbia College in Chicago, which awarded Klenjoski a scholarship to choreograph for its summer program. Klenjoski’s double major served her well. As a business major, she learned how to market her work — a skill many artists lack. She draws on her management training in her teaching and the operation of her nonprofit. The business-art combination continues to fuel her creative, entrepreneurial spirit. Her newest idea involves mixing technology with choreography, e.g. live video feed and light manipulation. Always pushing herself to try new things, Klenjoski knows she won’t always succeed at first. “I believe in longevity and continued curiosity,” she says. Success is evident in many forms. It can mean providing work for six dancers through choreography or affecting one person’s life. “You must define what success means to you.” — Annah Abetti Korpi

ABOVE: Regina Klenjoski is a creator, performer and advocate of contemporary dance. Rose Eichenbaum

chamber music in alternative styles and settings to audiences around the country. He is a cellist with Generations Trio, which performed

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Brian Zahm

Brian Zahm Filmmaker, graduate student “My films create a very polarizing effect on people: You’re either going to love it or you’re going to hate it,” says Ohio University master of fine arts student Brian Zahm, who, in addition to being a professional filmmaker, is a musician and published author. Zahm is always willing to try new things. When he couldn’t find the exact music he wanted for “Headspace,” his experimental film about electronic music culture, he learned to produce and record it himself. “(Experimenting) is one of the first steps in making a film a moving poem,” he says. “I’m always concerned about taking the viewer away from the world and into my world.” In keeping with his love of music, his next big project is “Freedom,” a documentary on roots music featuring performances and interviews with more than 100 performers, ranging from Willie Nelson to Widespread Panic. An accomplished editor, photographer and sound designer, Zahm worked in New York and Los Angeles for nearly a decade before moving so far from the bright lights. It’s been an inspirational choice, he says. “In the cities, everyone has the same movie. … Here, you have an insular community where the world is yours.” — Gina Beach

at Ohio University Feb. 18. • ONLY: Junior Emily Bacha is one of two Udall Scholars in Ohio; the designation recognizes students

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Laura Jacqmin, MFA ’05 Playwright, winner of the Wasserstein Prize

committed to careers related to the environment. Bacha spearheaded the Greeks Going Green initiative on campus. • BEST: Artist

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— Samantha Pirc

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Laura Jacqmin’s “HappySlap,” performed by the Ohio University School of Theater in 2007, explored the serious topic of violence provoked for the purpose of recording them on camera.

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aura Jacqmin puts herself in her characters’ shoes — but she’s not an actress. She’s a gifted playwright and the recent winner of the Wasserstein Prize, a $25,000 award presented by the Dramatists Guild and the Educational Foundation of America to an emerging female playwright. “It’s a huge deal,” Jacqmin says of the honor. The financial support has allowed her time to focus on writing. Jacqmin found her calling early on, when she studied with theater instructor Ned Gallaway, BFA ’96, at Shaker Heights High School’s award-winning theater arts department and participated in its New Stages student playwriting festival. The Ohio University professional playwriting program continued her training and helped launch her career. Her play “HappySlap,” which was a winner in the Aurora Theatre Company’s 2007 Global Age Project honoring forward-thinking works, was produced by the university’s School of Theater during the 2006–07 season. A university Student Enhancement Award supported the writing of “10 Virgins,” which premiered in the Chicago Dramatists’ 2007–08 season. Often controversial, her plays cover a wide range of topics: from an exploration of girl culture and manipulation in “10 Virgins” to the real-world issue of violence provoked for morbid entertainment in “HappySlap.” Jacqmin contends she is not necessarily drawn to dark topics. “I want to tell a different story with every play and put it in a completely different package,” she says. Her talent instantly caught the eye of Professor Charles Smith, head of the professional playwriting program. Like Shakespeare capturing the intricacies of a character such as the murderer Macbeth, Jacqmin “is able to look at what we may consider bizarre behavior and is able to find the humanity,” he says.


Jessica Hagy, BSJ ’99 Blogger, humorist

Julie Cruse, BFA ’07 Dancer

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Julie Cruse may be in her thesis year at Ohio State University’s dance and technology master of fine arts program, but these days, she spends more time in front of the computer screen than she does in the dance studio. Cruse is producing a computer program that she hopes will evolve into a freely accessible online database of dance combinations. Known as VICKI 2.0, the program is based on the original Choreobot Cruse developed as an undergrad at Ohio University’s @Lab that allows a dancer to create and input a vocabulary of dance commands. Choreobot re-sequences these commands to create a new dance for the dancer to perform in real time. Like Choreobot, VICKI 2.0 rearranges commands in various tempos, replicating the element of surprise that is crucial to the experience of being taught dance by someone else. A former physics major, Cruse creates her programs with the goal of increasing accessibility to dance and broadening the definition of a “dancer.” Anyone can enter steps into her programs and develop choreography. It’s not about “looking pretty,” Cruse says, “but about exploring what bodies can do.” Cruse’s hope is people will be able to explore their range of movement and share it with others online. This democratization of dance will allow the discipline to attract new practitioners, sustaining the art.

essica Hagy may have graduated with a degree in journalism, but it is her pictures — not her words — that are garnering all the attention lately. Hagy, BSJ ’99, is the author (or illustrator, depending on how you look at it) of Indexed (thisisindexed.com), a blog that features a collection of graphs and diagrams drawn on index cards and commenting on topics ranging from politics to religion to office relations. There are no actual calculations depicted on the cards, just thoughtful observation on culture and society by Hagy. A recent post sketched a linear relationship between good deeds and good feelings, while another (titled “On sourdough toast”) proposed “Life can’t be all bad” at the intersection of bacon, tomato and lettuce. Hagy says she never imagined that Indexed — which she started in 2006 after receiving the advice that every writer should have a blog — would be viewed by more than 20,000 people daily, let alone become a cultural phenomenon. “It’s weird pictures on index cards — I mean, come on! I never thought anybody would find it even,” Hagy laughs. As simple as the concept is, Hagy’s blog is a one-of-a-kind creation — and readers immediately responded to her creativity. Only weeks after she started posting her doodles, someone linked her blog to Metafilter (where members share and post links) and from there, the hits took off and opportunities came rolling in. The site was named one of the top blogs of 2008 by Time and PC magazine and has earned Webby Award nominations two years in a row. It is regularly featured on Freakonomics, a New York Times blog, and her illustrations have appeared in Plenty, GOOD and the BBC’s blog, Monitor. In 2008, Hagy published a collection of drawings aptly titled “Indexed,” and another book is in the works. Quite a lot has come through for Hagy from a blog she thought no one would see. For now, she lives in Seattle with her husband and works as a freelance advertising copywriter, while collaborations keep finding her — via the Internet, of course. “I just get really interesting e-mails all the time … from all sorts of countries and places,” she says. “You never know what is going to pop up.””

Jessica Hagy

— Samantha Pirc

Hagy’s take on this issue’s theme of innovation is just as clever as her blog, thisisindexed.com.

— Gina Beach

and critic Ronald Jones, PHD ’81, is a professor of interdisciplinary studies at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in

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Fiona Schiano-Yacopino of

Her map would change the world: The legacy of Marie Tharp (1920–2006)

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n 85-year-old Marie Tharp peered into the 6-foot-deep hole in her driveway, toes flush to the edge. A flood had mandated repairs, and regardless of the plumbers’ requests to stay away, Tharp pulled up a chair. She was curious about what was going on, about what was underneath. This was her driveway, her hole, and she wanted to know everything. Only a year later in 2006, this woman of science would pass away. But friends would continue to share stories of Tharp’s boundless curiosity and how, nearly 55 years ago, her endless perseverance inspired her to make discoveries that rocked the scientific world. An Ohio University alumna, Tharp is credited for

the discovery of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and for creating the first comprehensive seafloor map. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is an extensive underwater, volcanic mountain range with a giant central rift that runs along the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. “It basically wraps around the Earth like the seams of a baseball on the deep ocean floor,” says Dave Kidder, Ohio University associate professor of geology. Now a well-known topographical feature, the discovery of this formation was a key step in understanding the massive forces shaping the Earth. As the daughter of a soil surveyor, Tharp’s childhood had her moving with the weather — north in the summers, south in the winters. After attending two

dozen grade and high schools, her travels brought her to Ohio University. Feeling limited by the opportunities available to women at the time, she changed majors every semester. When she graduated in 1943, she had completed majors in English and music and four minors, including philosophy and education. After graduation, and with men away at war, Tharp found new opportunities. She traveled the country working and earning degrees in geology and math, finally landing at Columbia University with Maurice “Doc” Ewing, a pioneering oceanographer and geophysicist. He gave her a drafting job, and she began working with Bruce Heezen, the man who would soon be her long-time partner in mapping the ocean floor.

Stockholm, Sweden, where he leads the Experience Design Group, which explores the consequences of art, design and media on human

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Marie Tharp, BFA ’43 Oceanographic cartographer


In the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia’s “Twelve Perspectives on the First Fifty Years 1949–1999,” Tharp describes how, using sonar data points collected at sea with technologies Ewing developed for the Navy, she plotted thousands of ocean depth data points and began creating profiles of the topography of the Atlantic Ocean floor. It was painstaking work; the simplest mistake meant the map would be tossed and redrawn. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Director Michael Purdy puts Tharp’s work into perspective. “Marie was a cartographer. She made maps,” he says. “Although that might seem routine in the days of computers, back in the ’60s the amount of data available about the ocean floor was very little, so it took great skill to turn that small amount of data into useful information and interpret it.” And interpret she did. After piecing together the profiles, Tharp noticed a pattern — a large underwater ridge and a rift that ran through it. Tharp wrote, “When I showed what I found to Bruce (Heezen), he groaned and said, ‘It cannot be. It looks too much like continental drift.’” Tharp’s finding came at a time when continental drift was labeled “scientific heresy” and thought to be impossible. Most scientists subscribed to the idea that the Earth’s surface was static. Heezen simply dismissed Tharp’s finding as “girl talk,” but Tharp kept pursuing her idea. “If there were such a thing as continental drift, it seemed logical that something like a mid-ocean rift valley might be involved,” Tharp wrote. “The valley would form where new material came up from deep inside the Earth, splitting the mid-ocean ridge in two and pushing the sides apart.” Tharp’s theory was uncannily accurate. As technology became more advanced, Tharp’s maps were proven correct, and the theories of seafloor spreading, plate tectonics and continental drift became well established in the scientific world. “She contributed one of the key building blocks to the model of plate tectonics, without which we

wouldn’t have anywhere near the same understanding we do now about how and when earthquakes happen and volcanoes erupt,” Kidder explains. “Most people don’t think about it, but her findings contribute to the things we rely on every day to explain how the world works.” Tharp and her colleagues continued to map the ocean floor, with their work culminating in the 1977 publication of the World Ocean Floor Panorama. This map has become a staple in textbooks and on classroom walls around the world. “You’ve probably seen this iconic map, and at the time, didn’t know what you were looking at,” Purdy says. “It allows us for the first time to see how that flat ocean surface covers mountain ranges far bigger than anything on land.”

Curious ‘about everything’ Tharp’s maps continue to educate new generations. Fiona Schiano-Yacopino, friend of Tharp and current owner of Marie Tharp Maps, recently partnered with Google to get Tharp’s maps into the digital depths. “There is now an overlay of her maps on Google Earth,” she says. “It has really broadened the array of people that her work can reach.” Though Tharp’s work often seemed behind-the-scenes, she has since received recognition and awards for her findings. In 2006, she was honored posthumously with the Ohio University College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award. “She was a woman who was not out there to boast; she was just doing what she loved best,” Schiano-Yacopino says. “She was curious about everything and everyone. She was brilliant.” Tharp weathered criticism from colleagues, while hurdling the obstacles of being a woman of science in the ’50s. But she absolutely needed to explore “what was underneath,” and regardless of those who tried to stop her, she wanted to know everything. — Deanna Kerslake

ABOVE LEFT: Marie Tharp plots underwater depths onto a map using charts of soundings (measurements of the ocean floor captured by a sonar mounted on a boat).

Damian Nance Distinguished Professor of Geology

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ver the past 30 years, geologist Damian Nance has published and presented hundreds of papers focusing on the gargantuan forces that have shaped Earth over billions of years. But he is most proud of the theory of the “supercontinent cycle,” which he and colleague Tom Worsley, a retired fellow professor in Ohio University’s department of geological sciences, published in the 1980s. “It’s a simple idea,” Nance explains. “Earth’s history has been punctuated by a series of single land masses that then break apart — Pangaea being just the latest.” Pangaea, meaning “all lands,” is the single, giant land mass believed to have existed some 250 million years ago. Nance and Worsley expanded on this idea, and today, the supercontinents they predicted existed — such as Pannotia, 600 million years ago — are receiving growing interest in scientific circles. Nance’s pioneering research and dedication to teaching earned him the 2008 Distinguished Professor Award, the university’s highest faculty honor. It carries a lifetime designation and recognizes scholarship, professional reputation and contributions to the university. For Nance, research is a logical complement to his teaching. “If you, as a student, get to hear someone who is really enthusiastic about what they do, that can be very contagious,” he says. “And if you’re enthusiastic, learning becomes a joy.”

behaviors. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Ar t, the Guggenheim Museum and The Metropolitan

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Peter Hoffman

A theory ahead of its time


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Museum of Art, among others. • BEST: Junior John Blischak, a Goldwater Scholar, plans to someday lead a biomedical research team

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Rick Fatica

Urban Scholars, first class of seniors Since its inception in 2005, the Urban Scholars program has provided scholarship support to Ohio’s urban high school students with excellent academic achievement and financial need. This year, the program’s inaugural class walks across the graduation stage and into the world beyond Ohio University. Meet some of the driven individuals of this trailblazing class. u integrating the fields of molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry and bioinformatics to solve human health issues. • ONLY: Ohio

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1. When it comes to positive change in a community, Tiera Evans (family studies; business and African American studies minors) believes it starts with children. “When you work with children as individuals, their families start to see a difference in them,” she says. She aspires to work with inner-city children at her own child development center.

2. Micah Brown (broadcast journalism) plans on going back to school for his true passion: nonprofit management. Having worked with several nonprofits, he knows the secrets to success, which he hopes to impart through his future consulting firm. Something else he’s passionate about? Empowering youths. “I’d like to help them map out their own nonprofits.”

3. Angelic Pinckney (English/prelaw; communications minor) has big plans for herself and a work ethic to match. She either wants to be a partner at a law firm or the dean of a college. Whichever she chooses, you’d better believe she’ll get there. “I try to work my way around different things until I get what I need,” she says. “Most of the time, I don’t take no for an answer.”

4. Sherrell Davis (specialized studies in English and African American studies) will give back to her community the best way she knows how: teaching and motivating students. After obtaining a master’s degree in education, she plans on returning to Columbus and teaching in the inner city, helping those students who think college is out of reach. “I want to push them, so they know they can make it.”

5. Garret Kisner (interior architecture) takes everyday architectural designs and pushes them as far as possible, or as he puts it, “Something that somebody would do normally, I go and explode it.” He dreams of having a company of his own, the renown to take on any job, and the luxury to study different materials and use them unconventionally. “I want to make a statement.”

6. There’s a lot of junk on TV, according to Steven Collier (video production). “There’s a lot in the media that is kind of useless, or it just doesn’t use the format of media to its best potential,” he says. “I’m really focused on media that matters.” In addition to having a career in video editing and production, he’d like to work with a media education foundation.

7. Alyssa Green (psychology), is a guidance guru, or at least hopes to be once she obtains her master’s in community and school counseling. She knows that for any given situation there are many paths; the key is figuring out the best path for each one. “I try to focus on that in everything that I do,” she says

Honors Tutorial College A community of scholars In 1972, Associate Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Ellery Golos had a novel idea: institute tutorials modeled after those at Oxford and Cambridge within the existing honors college at Ohio University. Today, the Honors Tutorial College is still one-of-a-kind; it is the only degree-granting U.S. college that follows the time-honored tutorial model. Tutorials put tutees front and center, allowing them in-depth exploration of topics of interest while also providing them the opportunity to get to know their professors. Enrolled students take, on average, one class each quarter in a tutorial, either one-on-one or in a small group meeting with a professor. During senior year, HTC students embark on the sometimes grueling, often enlightening yearlong task of researching and writing a thesis. Here we list the first theses on record and a sampling of this year’s titles. Full text of these can be found in the Special Collections of Alden Library. HTC theses (1976) “A Positional Sensitive Detector for a Magnetic Spectograph” (physics), John Yurkon ...“Effects of Sex-Role Orientation on Cognitive Styles” (psychology), Linda Smith ... “An Historical Study of the Book of Esther” (history), Barbara Hutchinson HTC theses (2009, a sample) “Radically Egalitarian: The World Social Forum and the Promise of Democratic Theory” (political science), Jessica Beardsley ... “Neural Correlates and Mechanisms of Elbow Extensor Muscle Fatigue in Humans” (biological sciences), Douglas Dearth Jr. ...“It’s a Small World After All: Applications of Graph Theory to Social Network Analysis” (mathematics), Elizabeth Nalepa ...“The Use of Self-Referencing to Promote Environmentally Sustainable Products in Print Advertisements: The Power of ‘You’” (business), Sarah Peterson. — Gina Beach

University is one of only 12 forensic chemistry programs accredited by the American Academy of Forensic Science. • BEST: Professor

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Jeremi Suri, MA ’96 E. Gordon Fox Professor of History, University of Wisconsin–Madison It pays to be persistent. Just ask political historian Jeremi Suri, whose tenacity, coupled with a convivial personality, has yielded innovative ideas from his research and subsequent recognition. With his most recent book, “Henry Kissinger and the American Century,” Suri didn’t want to write just another biography. He wanted to understand the worldview Kissinger had and the various influences, such as heritage, that shaped his approach to international affairs. “I’ve always loved understanding where people and societies come from,” says Suri. As part of his research for this book, Suri learned German (one of four languages he speaks fluently), spent months in Kissinger’s hometown in Germany looking through archives and practically stalked Kissinger himself at one point. Kissinger, who was less than receptive to some of Suri’s theories about him, nonetheless conceded to a working relationship. “One thing about Jeremi: Even if he disagrees with you, it’s really hard not to like him,” says Associate Professor of History Chester Pach, who served on Suri’s thesis committee. “He’s a really engaging kind of guy. He’s got a dynamic

personality. And he’s accomplished an awful lot in a fairly short period of time.” A professor of history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Suri was a graduate student at Ohio University’s Contemporary History Institute. As a scholar of 20th century international history, he studies all points of view to draw conclusions: how what happens within societies affects foreign policy and how foreign policy affects what happens within societies. “One might call it the interconnection between the domestic and the foreign in an international framework,” says Suri. His ideas are inventive, such as with his first book, “Power and Protest,” that concludes a significant relationship existed between domestic disorder during the 1960s and the superpower détente of the 1970s, challenging a fairly common assumption that the détente was motivated by strategy, national security and economics. “Not everyone would agree with his explanation, but it has actually been pretty influential,” says Pach. Through the combination of teaching and research, Suri is making his mark — as evidenced by his selection in 2007 as one of “37 Under 36” young innovators featured in Smithsonian magazine. “I think of myself not as someone who is giving people answers but helping them understand how we’ve come to where we are in the world today and what different ways we could go forward,” he says.

— Lindsey Burrows

Contemporary History Institute By analyzing the past, the scholars of the Ohio University Contemporary History Institute strive to better understand current issues in world affairs. Incorporating graduate students in history, political science, economics and journalism, the CHI offers a certificate to complement a degree. This integration of related disciplines makes the CHI a unique program in academia. Michael Grow, professor emeritus of history and former director of the Contemporary History Institute, takes a new look at Cold War politics in “U.S. Presidents and Latin American Interventions: Pursuing Regime Change in the Cold War.” The book covers White House decision-making in eight major cases of U.S. intervention in Latin American affairs and examines how a desire to project a powerful national and presidential image consistently influenced U.S. decisions to intervene. “The whole thrust of the Contemporary History Institute was to try to see a pattern in all the random, seemingly chaotic events happening in world affairs,” Grow says. Recognizing that no one had reviewed these interventions as a unique phenomenon, he started to look for a pattern, “And the rest, as they say, is history.”

Connor Study Professor of Histor y Kevin Mattson, a faculty associate at the Contemporar y Histor y Institute, offers a though-provoking examination of the modern conser vative movement in “Rebels All! A Short History of the Conservative Mind in Postwar America,” arguing that its current cast of characters (Ann Coulter, William F. Buckley and others) owes much of its tactics to the radical 1960s counterculture. Mattson proposes conser vative pundits adopted the “rebel” posture of the New Left and irreverent rhetoric to widen their appeal. The book’s intent, Mattson notes, is to “change the lens” through which conser vatism is analyzed. “Hipness and coolness, like rebellion, are no longer the property of the Left.”

of Communication Studies Raymie McKerrow received a lifetime achievement award from the National Communication Association in the

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Catrina Genovese/Getty Images

Roger Ailes: In His Own Words The Fox News chairman, BFA ’62, says the economics of the news business requires constant innovation and that education should teach how to think, not what to think. division of Critical and Cultural Studies, which he helped to develop. • ONLY: Ohio University and the National Academy of Engineering 26

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Interview conducted, written and condensed by Mary Reed.

(CNN’s) Ted Turner was a genius. His mistake was he created 24-hour news, but he didn’t understand news. He thought the news was the star, and in the end news is still driven to a large degree by personalities delivering factual information. What I did is I changed 24-hour news to something that was watchable, saleable and winning. I have to watch news because I’m responsible for 168 hours a week of Fox news. I like to watch my competition because it usually cheers me up.

Diego Robles

There’s no way to monetize the Internet yet. Young people tend to believe everything has to be free. Old guys like us understand that anything of value actually costs money. The Internet has a long way to go in terms of getting the proper price for the value that it delivers.

Archie Greer was a radio-television professor. He was instrumental; he taught me how to look at both sides of the issues and have an open mind about things.

Cari Steiner Senior, public relations major

I view TV as a canvas, and you get to repaint your canvas every three to five seconds. How effectively you do that, to make compelling information for the viewer, attracts them to your screen. It’s an ongoing, constant, driving issue.

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In my entire career, every time there was a difficult situation, somebody said, “Get Ailes.” Why did they say, get Ailes? Because I’m not a pain in the ass, because I don’t suck the air out of the room, because I figure out solutions, because I work harder than anybody else and because I get the job done. Because I understand it’s about results, not activity. The world pays you for results, so I try to make young people focus on what results did you get today, what did you accomplish, because in the end your success is going to depend on that. (To today’s students) Don’t think you’re as smart as you think you are. Get a job, get off your parents’ payroll and contribute to society through hard work. Negative people make positive people sick. If you’re around negative people, run away from them as you would a drug dealer. Whenever OU people apply (to Fox News), I send (their applications) to human resources and say, generally OU people are pretty good and ready on television, so take a special look at them. You’re constantly working against the ultimate deadline, so there’s never enough time in the day to do all things. I have 15 ideas a minute; I can’t implement them all. If something’s not working, I move on so fast to something else that I never assume I failed. I just assume I needed an adjustment. I love OU. OU is a little too liberal for me, but that’s OK as long as there’s an additional point of view from time to time so people don’t get brainwashed. OU is a fantastic school and had a major impact on my life.

ari Steiner is a go-getter, something Limited Brands found out when she insisted they create an intern position in their external communications department. At her persuasive prodding, they did, and she was the first to fill it. Right away, she became their trusted expert in all things social media. As part of her daily tasks, she reported online hits she found about the company’s brands that include Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. “I would give them a daily blog report about what people were saying. Kind of like buzz control,” she says. It is important for companies to embrace social media, says Steiner. Falling behind on trends such as Twitter and blogging means risking success with a target audience. “Every time we write PR plans, we always put in social media,” she says. “It’s just who we are now.” — Lindsey Burrows

awarded the biennial Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize to Elmer Gaden, of Charlotesville, Va., who is considered the father of S U M M E R

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Gary Platt, AB ’67 Founder, Full Sail University and Ex’pression College for Digital Arts Thirty years ago, you’d be hard-pressed to find an accredited school for audio engineering, the creative and technical art of recording sound. It was also unlikely for someone in the biz to teach you the tricks of the trade. Thanks to one visionary alum, today’s students have every opportunity to soar.

t Gary Platt (right) and friend Bob Carlisle, BMUS ’76, perform with the Ohio University One O’Clock Jazz Band back in 1975. Platt, who still plays a mean trombone, joined more bands than he can remember, from jazz to Dixie, orchestra to marching band. “Anything that I could play in, I was going to play.”

u Platt has an extensive microphone collection. Like paintbrushes, many of his mikes have distinctive qualities for best capturing the sounds of particular instruments.

p Platt loves watching and playing poker. “I was a risk taker in the beginning, and I always will be. Anytime there’s a game, I’m in.”

q Musical ability runs in the Platt family. His sons, Preston (left), 18, and Alex, 17, play drums and bass, respectively. “They’re very talented,” says Platt. “I’m all about sparking their creativity — inspiring and motivating them — and at the same time keeping them within the guardrails of life.”

t He has a number of gold records from years of working with various artists. Platt, who got his big break at a Cincinnati recording studio in the late ’70s, was on the forefront of funk and recorded albums for George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and the group Midnight Star.

biochemical engineering and recognized for pioneering research that enabled large-scale manufacture of antibiotics, such as penicillin.

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hen Gary Platt enrolled at Ohio, audio engineering was not exactly a career choice, so it became his hobby instead. “I was self-taught,” says Platt, who spent hours tinkering on the recording equipment he found in the music building at Ohio University, where he was studying to become a band director. After graduation, he landed a job at a recording studio in Chillicothe, Ohio, where he wrote and produced jingles. When a colleague asked him if he’d help create an audio arts school, Platt leaped at the chance. Thus, The Recording Workshop — the first of many schools influenced by Platt’s creative vision — was born. Platt went on to co-found what is now known as Full Sail University in Orlando, which took the workshop concept to new heights. “Nobody had ever built professional studios inside of a school and to that degree,” says Platt. “That was really a wonderful new opportunity for the students.” In 1996, he possessed the know-how (and financial backing) to build his “Juilliard” of media arts, Ex’pression College for Digital Arts in San Francisco. Like Full Sail, it became a center of new media, incorporating animation and multimedia into its curriculum. Throughout his career, Platt juggled recording gigs, working with artists such as Bon Jovi, Prince and the promising youngsters of the Mickey Mouse Club — Timberlake, Aguilera and Spears. Even then, Platt knew his true calling: “The thing that excites me the most is to work with schools.”

Ron Docie, AA ’74 Inventor, invention broker Thomas Edison once said, “Genius is 2 percent inspiration and 98 percent perspiration.” But innovation is also a gamble, says Athens resident and 30-year veteran inventor Ron Docie. “If you know going into a project that 99 percent of patents never make it in the market — let alone those that aren’t patented — where does that put the lowly independent inventor?” asks Docie, whose latest invention is a hybrid solar cooker with a second power source for cloudy days. “He may have a 1 in 1,000 chance, not dissimilar from going to Las Vegas,” he jokes. Docie got his big break at 20 when he invented a stick-on blind spot mirror, which is still available at Wal-Mart and other chain stores today. He has become the go-to guy for good advice: One of the few invention brokers in the country, he works with new inventors, accepting between 20 and 24 domestic and international clients and negotiating one to two license deals in an average year. This might seem like a pittance, but it is actually a remarkable rate of success. The rigorous screening process narrows down clients, who range from established creators who have already spent millions in production to novice inventors who have yet to do a patent search. Docie’s 2001 book, “The Inventor’s Bible,” is in its second edition, with copies available in every patent library in the U.S. An interactive online software program for inventors called Dimwit is in the works. — Gina Beach

Larry Schmidt, BSCHE ’65 President, LR Schmidt Associates It’s not an exaggeration to say that engineer Larry Schmidt’s innovations affect everyone today. During his 22 years at General Electric, Schmidt teamed with engineers around the world to commercialize the compact disk. However, his larger contribution was in Larry Schmidt’s inventive work uncovering the behavior of plastic strengthened relied on colorful plastic tracers, by short glass fibers for commercial applications represented in this sketch. such as washing machine tubs. The problem? GE wanted to switch from steel tubs to plastic ones for efficiency. But the plastic tubs were coming out of the mold in an elliptical shape, not a cylindrical shape. To discover why, Schmidt strategically placed small pieces of colored plastic (called tracers) in with the rest of the melted plastic during the molding process. Through a specially built windowed heat barrel, Schmidt could observe the melted plastic’s flow — “like watching water currents move in a glass-bottomed canoe,” he says. The outcome revealed a new understanding of how the fibers orient themselves on the skin, or the plastic’s surface. Schmidt discovered that leaving the glass fibers out of the plastic skin region but including them in the mold core allowed the end product to retain its shape. Today, he shares his expertise as president of international plastics consulting company LR Schmidt Associates. Schmidt’s innovation made its biggest impact not in the appliance industry, but in the auto industry, in the making of plastic fenders that don’t dent. That’s something we can all use — once in a while. — Kelee Garrison Riesbeck

— Lindsey Burrows

The prize is the engineering equivalent of the Nobel Prize. • FIRST: The School of Journalism was the first in the nation to assign

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Fiona Mitchell, BFA ’06, and Jesse Yun, BBA ’03 Eco-entrepreneurs

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iona Mitchell and Jesse Yun don’t just run their lives on a green philosophy — it is also how they run their new Portland, Ore., business. Mitchell and Yun, along with business partner William Sampson, are the owners of EcoShuttle, a transportation company with minibuses that run on 100-percent biodiesel fuel. They are the only shuttle service in Portland to offer green commuting services to businesses and students, as well as entertainment, charter and tour services to private parties. Unlike ethanol, which is a fermentation product derived mainly from corn, biodiesel is a chemically converted fat or oil that is blended into diesel fuel. All EcoShuttle vehicles run on waste vegetable oil, available free from most restaurants and from certain gas stations and providers in Portland. Mitchell says her father, Ohio University Professor of Plant and Cell Biology John Mitchell, instilled in her a respect for the environment: “We try to make as little waste as possible and reduce our carbon footprint,” she says. She and her coworkers bike to work, and offer their corporate costumers additional services such as environmentally friendly dry

Bob Walter, BSME ’67, founder and CEO of Cardinal Health, a leader in pharmaceuticals distribution with annual sales of $87 billion

— Samantha Pirc

Jeffrey O’Hara, BBA ’69, Amy Taylor-Bianco, assistant professor of management, who studies work-family relationships internationally, an emerging area for researchers

retired president and CEO of Darden Restaurants, who is credited for taking the fiveunit Red Lobster to a chain of 700

Let’s talk business:

Jasmine Merith, senior who placed No. 1 in the National Collegiate Sales Competition after training at the university’s Ralph and Luci Schey Sales Centre

cleaning and organic breakfast snacks. “We try to figure out something new to do every week.” EcoShuttle got its start July 2007 providing transportation for bands, including the Beach Boys and the Temptations, at the Oregon Waterfront Blues Festival, the largest blues festival on the West Coast. In the past year, the company has grown and evolved to include six vehicles (accommodating from nine to 48 passengers), 15 employees and contracts with Nike, Intel and Farmers Insurance, as well as other music festivals, a local law school and a few other large corporations. “Portland is ready for greener options,” Mitchell says. She attributes their success to their willingness to work with customers and offer them the peace of mind of lowering their carbon footprint. “We are young and fresh, and we take into consideration the needs of each customer to design a service that fits them and their budget.”

An Ohio power lunch What happens when your guest list includes a mix of faculty, alumni and students known as much for their entrepreneurial skills as their outstanding leadership? We’d love to find out. Here are eight to talk to (and talk about).

Russ Daniels, BS ’XX, vice president and chief technology officer with Cloud Services Strategy for HewlettPackard and one of the industry’s top CTOs

Wesley Cronk, senior who has developed Atrium, a Web-based film production software that he will market after graduation

Hugh Sherman, dean of the College of Business, which ranked in the BusinessWeek top 50 undergraduate programs

Deborah Cavanagh, BFA ’79, associate publisher of creative services of Vogue magazine, who in 2007 spearheaded the launch of Vogue.TV

students to work on a community newspaper rather than just a lab paper. • What are you doing? Tell us. E-mail: ohiotoday@ohio.edu.

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OUAA Celebrates 150 Years Birthdays are special events, and 2009 marks a very special “birthday” for your Ohio University Alumni Association: its 150th! And if 150 sounds like a stately age — it is. The founding in 1859 makes your Alumni Association one of the oldest such organizations among public schools anywhere in the country. Bobcat family, with the benefit of a tremendous legacy to support our future, it’s time to celebrate 150 years of success and another 150 years to come. 1. West portico of Alumni Memorial Auditorium, 1960s (Ohio University Archives, Mahn Collection) 2. Ohio University cheerleaders take a jump in the snow, 1959 (Athena) 3. Archibald Green Brown, founder of the Ohio University Alumni Association, 1859 (Ohio University Archives, Mahn Collection) 4. J-Prom skit, 1973 (Athena) 5. 52 University Terrace, the residence built by Gen. Charles Grosvenor and current home to Konneker Alumni Center, 1912 6. State Government Alumni Luncheon, 2009 7. Student combo entertains at the Frontier Room in Baker Center, 1959 (Athena)

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INSIDE School’s out for summer — but alumni are invited to a return event. page 32 Survey says ... alumni have pride in Ohio University and its excellence. page 33 Foundation scholarships offer hope during tough economic times. page 35 Find an alumni gathering near you. page 36

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Now is the time for celebration!

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he year 2009 marks the 150th anniversary of the Ohio University Alumni Association, making it one of the oldest such organizations among public schools anywhere in the country. Some 250,000 alumni have experienced the best years of their lives on the Athens and regional campuses, and we know only some of the stories they could tell. One of our goals during this 150th anniversary celebration is to capture more of those campus experiences; hear about faculty, staff or students who made a difference; and become aware of the successes that have occurred in the lives of our graduates. So, now is the time to share your pride! E-mail us your memories and successes to alumni@ohio.edu, or send a photo of your OHIO-inspired pride — be it attending an Ohio University event or wearing university clothing. We’ll compile what you send and present it throughout the year on our Web site. For our part, we’re planning numerous events that recognize the impact Ohio University alumni have had on the world. At Homecoming 2009 (Oct. 16–18), we’ll incorporate a theme that recognizes our 150 years and the success of our alumni. We’re bringing back Alumni College, a favorite weekend for many, and our Black Alumni Reunion Weekend in the spring of 2010 will be the biggest in history. We hope you’ll join us for this “year of the alumnus,” during which we celebrate you and the generations of alumni who have shared the Ohio University experience.

44 Check www.ohioalumni.org for regular updates to our 150th celebration calendar.

Commencement 2009 The anniversary year will kick off with commencement, including a commemorative program for all graduates and attendees on June 13. Alumni College, July 31–Aug. 2, 2009 We are bringing back a memorable tradition as a weekend opportunity to return to college with workshops and sessions. Homecoming, Oct. 16–18, 2009 This event will be the keystone event commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Alumni Association. Central Ohio Network Celebration, Nov. 5, 2009 The Central Ohio Chapter celebrates its 100th anniversary; details of this centennial are coming soon. Black Alumni Reunion, May 21–23, 2010 This reunion will be our biggest to date. Commencement 2010 We mark the end of our year-long celebration with a ceremony honoring the class of 1970, whose commencement was cancelled in the aftermath of the Kent State riots.

Alumni College: “School’s out for summer!” — except for you

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ant to spark your imagination, dine with President Roderick J. McDavis, meet some of the university’s most revered and talented faculty, engage in contra dancing and wine-tasting — and still “graduate” from college in just three days? This summer, you can! Relive your Ohio University student experience through the Alumni College weekend. Alumni College — what’s that? If you are a prior Alumni College participant, you already know. For decades, it was a favorite back-to-campus weekend learning event for hundreds of enthusiastic alumni. You may have even bemoaned the program’s hiatus beginning in 2001. If so, you’ll be glad to know that, due to renewed interest and in celebration of our 150th anniversary, Alumni College is back! For those of you new to the Alumni College program, here’s a quick rundown: For three days (Friday, July 31, through Sunday, Aug. 2), you can visit the Athens campus for enriching workshops on a variety of topics ranging from happiness and altruism to poetry and biofuels; debate the economy with top experts David Wilhelm, BA ’77, and Professor Richard Vedder; reconnect with your alma mater; and meet new and old friends — all for around $300 per person. You can even

Trustee Professor of English Literature Samuel Crowl addresses an Alumni College session in 1998. He will participate in the sessions this July.

eat in the dining halls and stay in the dorms, if you so choose. (Why didn’t we get air-conditioning when we were students?) To cap off the weekend, you’ll graduate with a certificate of completion and photos to commemorate your achievement. For more information on Alumni College, contact Cristie Gryszka at gryszka@ohio.edu or visit www.ohioalumni.org. You may register online at www.back2OU.org.


2009 TOURS

Rick Fatica

Plan the adventure of your lifetime! June 28–July 3 Vermont Bike Tour July 11–18 Caribbean Family Delight

You like us — you really, really do

Latest survey shows value of Ohio University We didn’t doubt it for Rob Shoss, a princiMissed the a second, but the 2008 pal at the Performance survey? Ohio University Alumni Enhancement Group of Attitude Survey conHouston, which adminMake sure the Alumni firmed what we all know: Association has your updated istered the survey, pree-mail address at You love this place! sented results at the www.ohioalumni.org/updateThe survey, completed February meeting of the your-information. by nearly 6,000 Ohio Alumni Association Board University alumni, proof Directors. From the duced the following findings: results, we learned that your opinion of the university is most influenced by the • 95 percent rated their student perceived value of your degree and deterexperience as good or excellent. mined in part by the accomplishments of • 96 percent rated their decision to current students and faculty. It is affected attend Ohio University as good by support you receive in the area of pro or excellent. fessional development after graduation. • 96 percent promote Ohio University In response to these and other findings, to others on a regular basis. the focus for the Ohio University Alumni • 94 percent currently have a good or Association will include the following: excellent opinion of Ohio University. We think that’s a satisfaction rate that can’t be beat. “Alumni told us they’re proud of their experience at and ongoing connection to Ohio University,” says Graham Stewart, assistant vice president for alumni relations and executive director of the Ohio University Alumni Association. The survey included questions about your perception of the university, your experiences as undergraduate and graduate students, and current participation in alumni activities.

July 19–26 Wonders of Iceland — Smithsonian Journeys Aug. 2–12 Danube River to Istanbul Aug. 22–Sept. 2 Celtic Lands Sept. 1–13 Alaska: Glacier to Glacier Sept. 17–25 Village Life in Dordogne Sept 28–Oct 6 Normandy Oct. 3–11 Romantic Rhine, with faculty host Oct. 26–Nov. 6 Grand Tour of Egypt Visit the Web at www.bobcattravel.org for more information on our tours.

• career services and development for both students and alumni • admission recruiting and retention • strengthening collaborative relation- ships on and off campus • generation-specific programming • better engagement for alumni who live out of state Thank you for providing this valuable feedback. As your input shows, you care about Ohio University and want to be a part of its future success. We will work to make your participation easier than ever. S U M M E R

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From the desk of the Thomas Ewing Society

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Words of praise for Charlotte’s Network

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f you’ve ever read “Charlotte’s Web,” then you know that the words “terrific” and “radiant” were among those that the spider Charlotte wrote in her web to describe a dear friend. But did you know that the “Queen City” of Charlotte, N.C., has its own “web,” or network that has captured similar sentiments? Charlotte Networking Week is an event that hosts 100 current Ohio University students and provides them an opportunity to learn about the local job market and attractions and to network with alumni. Named Most Innovative Program for 2004 by the Alumni Association, it’s the brainchild of one of the university’s most dedicated alumni ambassadors: Julie Mann, BBA ’02. Mann is a founding member of the association’s Leaders Advisory Council, and received the Claire O. and Charlie Ping Recent Graduate Award in 2007 for the astounding impact she has had in serving more than 1,300 alumni in the Greater Charlotte Chapter Network. She established Charlotte Networking Week in collaboration with the College of Business Society of Alumni and Friends. The program has been a big hit with students and alumni alike. “The networking trip was amazing,” says current business student Meredith Smith. “It was a great time to interact with alumni and build a foundation for future networking.” From left: Todd Calamita, BBA ’93; President Roderick J. McDavis, BSED ’70; Julie Mann, BBA ’02

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s the Alumni Association celebrates 150 years, an old kneehole desk that is probably close in age, provides us with a compelling symbol of the enduring spirit of Ohio University. The desk, which resides in the provost’s office, belonged to Ohio’s first graduate and dedicated alumnus, Thomas E. Ewing. The desk is a working desk, and it symbolizes the dedication not only of Ohio University’s first graduate, but of the more than 300 loyal alumni Thomas E. Ewing (1789–1871), volunteers who continue to grace and serve their first Ohio University graduate alma mater as former members of the Alumni Courtesy of the Mahn Collection Association Board of Directors. How appropriate that the Alumni Association created a society named after Ewing to recognize these efforts! This year, it is time to recognize and honor these alumni volunteers in a special way. From the “desk” of Thomas Ewing to all of our Alumni Board volunteers, we send a special thank you. Please join us this summer as the Thomas Ewing Society, established during the association’s centennial, marks its golden anniversary with a special reunion just for you. 50th Anniversary Reunion • July 31–Aug. 2, 2009 The Thomas Ewing Society Reunion will be among the Alumni College Weekend activities, with a special session just for TES members. Meet the Ohio University Alumni Association staff, the executive director and members of the University Advancement staff to learn about the latest trends in alumni relations and their implementation, and explore how leaders from the Alumni Association’s past can continue to help shape Ohio’s future. To register, visit www.back2OU.org.

How big is your Ohio family tree? Famlies of legacies are a university’s historians; at Ohio University, we value alumni who cherish a shared college tradition and consider it a source of family strength, identity and pride. Holly Seckinger, BBA ’02, comes from such a family and is a fourth-generation alumna. Her Ohio family tree dates back to the 1920s, when her great-grandmother Maxine Heiser, ELED ’28 and BSED ’62, first attended. Holly’s great-aunt, paternal grandparents, aunts and uncles (six total), and a first cousin have all attended Ohio University. Holly’s parents, Hoy Seckinger, BBA ’76, and Susan Rohl Seckinger, AA ’76, married at Galbreath Chapel. Both Hoy and Susan have siblings who attended the university, so the Ohio tree spans both sides of the family. Also, Holly’s great-aunt, Theresa Heiser, BSED ’36, worked for the College of Business for nearly 40 years. Is your family like Holly’s? We’d like to hear from you! How many generations of Ohio University graduates and extended branches are in your family? Send your Ohio family tree information to ohiotoday@ohio.edu with the subject line “Family Tree.”


Senior Garret Kisner has a message for the alumni who helped pay for his education: “I don’t think I would be the person I am today if I wasn’t a part of Urban Scholars,” says the interior architecture major, who is profiled on page 24. “It is a program that is set apart from the rest.” The Urban Scholars program is just one example of how Ohio University helps scholars with a demonstrated financial need. Started in 2005 by President Roderick J. McDavis and his wife, Deborah, the program provides a fouryear renewable scholarship to students from urban school districts in Ohio. In these tough economic times, The Ohio University Foundation needs alumni support to strengthen these programs more than ever. And the most meaningful way alumni can positively impact Ohio University is through their contributions to the Foundation’s endowment. Established in 1945, the Foundation works to advance the academic mission of Ohio University as its fundrasing arm. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, it serves as the repository for all private gifts to the university. The Foundation raises $25 million in gifts and commitments annually from a network of more than 25,000 donors who have helped the university’s overall endowment reach $262 million. It is overseen by a Board of Trustees composed of 46 alumni and friends. Ohio University Foundation Chairman Frank Krasovec, BBA ’65 and MBA ’66,

Rick Fatica

Your Ohio University Foundation: Making a difference

ABOVE: A recent Legacy Recognition and Awards Ceremony in Baker University Center honored Urban Scholars, Appalachian Scholars and Templeton Scholars.

says it is crucial to engage alumni in the Foundation’s work. “I’ve shifted the focus to place more emphasis on fundraising activities, not only because of the current economy, but because of my Ohio experience as a student on scholarships,” Krasovec says. “(That experience) helped to make me the person I am today.” Private philanthropy touches every part of the university: Gifts from generous donors support scholarship and financial aid packages, research and faculty development, capital expansion and renovations, technology upgrades and lab equipment, and unrestricted gifts

that allow Ohio University to meet unexpected challenges. While Gov. Ted Strickland has been a strong supporter of higher education, private gifts help achieve a margin of excellence, says Howard Lipman, vice president for advancement and president and CEO of the Ohio University Foundation. “Despite hope for continued support from the governor and the General Assembly, Ohio University has, indeed, suffered the effects of this economic downturn,” Lipman says. “Support for the university is needed now, more than ever.”

largest cuts to support units and smaller cuts to academic units. Every decision has been aimed at protecting full-time, tenured and tenure-track faculty and the university’s core academic mission. Savings have been identified through administrative restructuring, elimination of vacant positions and changes to the employee health plan. Initiatives such as shared services and statewide partnerships will reduce costs as well. The situation remains highly fluid; a State of Ohio budget is expected in June.

“Given the current financial realities and the rapid decline of the global economy, Ohio University has addressed financial challenges in a straightforward manner,” President Roderick J. McDavis stated in a memo to faculty and staff. “And, while difficult on the campus community, it has been done in a way that will ensure the institution and its academic mission are stronger in future years.” For information on the overall university budget, visit www.ohio.edu/budget.

A message for alumni, friends Like other schools across the nation, Ohio University faces challenging budget issues in these tough economic times. Stock market tumbles that have hindered the university’s endowment and interest income, coupled with a multi-year statewide tuition freeze and increases in operating expenses have forced university leaders to take difficult action this year. The university has developed plans to achieve fiscal year 2010 reduction targets totaling $15 million. The targets for each university unit varied, with the

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Ohio University Alumni Association Chapter Network Events 4CENTRAL OHIO July 10 • Central Ohio Welcome to Columbus, Alumni! Lodge Bar, 165 Vine St., Columbus, 7-9 p.m. Representatives from several alumni societies and local businesses will be in attendance to show alumni what Columbus has to offer. No cost. Pizza buffet and door prizes. $5 parking. For more information, contact Lynn Walsh at 614-579-7937 or lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com. Aug. 20 • Central Ohio Incoming Freshmen Reception Shelter House, 1515 Goodale Blvd., Columbus, 6–8 p.m. Incoming freshmen and their families are invited to attend a picnic to learn more about Ohio University and campus life. No cost. Picnic food and beverages provided. For more information, contact Bill Righter at 614-7717225 or ohio.cat@att.net. Nov 4 • Central Ohio Centennial Celebration Darby House, Galloway. Save the date. More details will be coming soon!

4NORTHEAST OHIO June 27 • Cleveland Bobcat Big Stick Challenge Hilliard Lakes Golf Club, 31666 Hilliard Blvd., Westlake, 10 a.m. $85 per golfer or $340 per foursome includes golf, lunch, dinner and a chance to win prizes. Proceeds benefit the chapter’s scholarship fund. Register online at www. clevelandbobcats.com. For more information, contact Jason Nedley at 440-725-5118 or president@ clevelandbobcats.com.

4NORTHWEST OHIO July 14 • Toledo Social Hour Packo’s at the Park, 7 S. Superior St., 5:30–8 p.m. Pay as you go. For more information, contact Laurie Mitchell at toledobobcats@ gmail.com. Sept. 8 • Toledo Social Hour Dale’s Bar and Grille, 322 Conant St., Maumee, 5:30–8 p.m. Pay as you go. For more information, contact Laurie Mitchell at toledobobcats@gmail.com.

4NORTHEAST US June 26–28 • Massachusetts 36

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Serving New England Ohio University Players at the Monomoy Theatre present “Anything Goes” 776 Main St., Chatham, Mass., 7 p.m. $70 per person for all weekend events. RSVP to Jean Axline at 800-7422273 or 508-393-6347. June 27 • Pittsburgh Bobcat Bowling Arsenal Lanes, 44th and Butler streets, 1–4 p.m. Pay as you go. For more information, contact Matthew Galmoff at mgalmoff@pitt.edu. July 25 • Philadelphia All Alumni Tailgate and Phillies Game Citizens Bank Park, One Citizens Bank Way, 1 p.m. Join alumni from Ohio University, Northwestern, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Michigan State, Mar yland, Florida State, Ohio State, UNC, Wisconsin and other universities for a tailgate and Phillies game. $30 tailgate and Phillies ticket, $10 tailgate only. For more information, contact Kara McDonald at 484-948-5229 or karaboo30@yahoo.com.

4NORTHWEST U.S. July 19 • Oregon Bobcat Barbecue Sellwood Park, Picnic Area E, SE 7th Avenue and SE Miller Street, Portland, 3 p.m. Bring potluck-style dishes, any meat you’d like to grill and beverages. No cost. For more information, contact Jason Kent at 208-761-9333 or jjnboise@ yahoo.com. Aug. 13 • Idaho Second Annual OHIO Alumni Night with the Boise Hawks Memorial Stadium, 5600 N. Glenwood St., Boise, 6:15 p.m. Watch the Boise Hawks take on the Everett Aqua Sox. $25 for a reser ved ticket and allyou-can-eat-and-drink picnic, $9 reser ved ticket only. RSVP by July 15 to Todd Rahr at 208-724-0459 or todd@boisehawks.com. Aug. 22 • Denver Colorado Rockies Game Coors Field, 20th and Blake streets, Denver, 5 p.m. Cost is $7–$10. RSVP by June 22 to Nicole Richards at 720-9848766 or at nr298401@ohio.edu.

4SOUTHEAST U.S. April 11–Aug. 9 • Nation’s Capital CAN Alumni Softball

4REUNIONS July 31–Aug. 2 • Alumni College Athens. Reconnect with fellow alumni on campus, all while staying in the dorms and attending classes. For more information, visit www.back2ou.org. Oct. 10 • Modern Languages and Study Abroad Reunion Athens. For more information, contact modern.languages@ohio.edu. Oct. 16–18 • Homecoming Athens. OHIO Bobcats vs. Miami Redhawks. For more information, visit www.ohioalumni.org/homecoming. May 21–23, 2010 • Black Alumni Reunion Athens. Save the date. Team National Mall/Monument Grounds, 17th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 12 p.m. $50 per player. Check www.dcalum. org for a schedule. For more information, contact Robert Walter at 240-354-3600 or oubobcat33@hotmail.com. June 27 • Nation’s Capital Ohio Golf Scramble South Riding Golf Club, 43237 Golf View Dr., South Riding, Va., 1–7 p.m. $110 per player and $40 per nonplayer. Proceeds will help endow a scholarship for a D.C.area student. Leon Harris, BSC ’83, of ABC 7 News will make a special appearance. RSVP by to Robert Walter at oubobcat33@ hotmail.com. July 16 • Ohio University Alumni Association Alumni Reception with Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis, BSED ’70 The Willard Intercontinental Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 6:30-8:30 p.m. No cost. Register online at www.ohioalumni.org. For more information, contact Dawn Werr y at 740-593-4302. July 16 • Women in Philanthropy Afternoon Tea The Willard Intercontinental Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 4-6 p.m. $15. RSVP by July 1. For more information, contact Dorothy Schey at 740-593-4556. Aug. 22 • Nation’s Capital Bobcat Family Picnic and Incoming Student Reception VA Highlands Park, 1600 S. Hayes St., Arlington, 12–3 p.m. Join fellow Bobcats for an end-of-the-

summer Bobcat Family Picnic. Alumni, current students, new fall 2009 Ohio students and their families are invited to join. We will be welcoming the incoming students and answering any questions they may have about Ohio University. No cost. Hot dogs, hamburgers and other picnic foods will be provided. RSVP to Robert Walter at oubobcat33@ hotmail.com.

4SOUTHWEST U.S. June 27 • Los Angeles OHIO Alumni Night at Hollywood Bowl 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 6 p.m. $18 per person. Join fellow alumni for a ’70s flashback with tributes to ABBA and Neil Diamond. Picnic at 6 p.m. in picnic area 11, across the street from Camrose Park. Show at 7 p.m. Plan to bring a picnic with you. To reserve tickets, contact Gretchen Douglass at tigerlilyz@hotmail.com. July 11 • Arizona Night at the Chase Sliders American Grill, 201 S. Fourth St., Phoenix, 2 p.m. Join fellow Bobcat Kevin McCormick for a wine tasting. Pay as you go. For more information, contact Tom Healy at azbobcats@gmail.com.

4SOCIETY EVENTS July 17–18 • Third Annual Ohio University Research and Education Symposium Athens. Keynote address by Professor Fredrick “Fritz” Hagerman. For more information, contact Tim Carr at 614-595-3691 or Andrew Krause at 740-403-8053. Sept. 4–7 • Air Force ROTC Alumni Weekend Athens. For more information, contact 740593-1343 or afrotc650@ohio.edu.


T HE NEXT BIG

IDEA

T hese innovators have dreams for the future ... “The plan is to franchise, to be all over the West Coast and then move east. My personal hope is to one day open up shop in Hawaii.” Fiona Mitchell, p. 30

“I know the ins and outs of how nonprofits operate and how good ones become successful. My dream job would be to own my own consulting firm, designed specifically for small businesses and for nonprofit organizations.”

“I’m working on a new book on the history of nation-building.” Jeremi Suri, p. 25

“I would love to study the neuropsychology of attraction and romantic love.” Marie Braasch, p. 9

“I want to create the ‘Visible Dinosaur Project,’ a set of comprehensive 3-D computer visualizations of the internal and external anatomical structures of dinosaurs.” Larry Witmer, p. 10

“I have this dream of doing a surrealist film of Spain. I would create images and a soundtrack based on the sound of the cities.”

“I just finished the first draft of a new play about the death of a high school hockey player. Now that I am done with that, I am starting the heavy lifting on a comedy on commission from the Foundation for Jewish Culture.”

Brian Zahm, p. 17

Laura Jacqmin, p. 18

“There are so many diseases that I would like to study. I would love to be able to cure neurodegenerative diseases. If you can fight (them), it’s like staring down darkness. I want to be the knight in shining armor.”

Micah Brown, p. 24

Adam Jacoby, p. 9

“I work for the SAE Institutes. There are 54 of these around the world; they are media arts colleges designed for mostly audio, which is a real expertise of mine. I’m building new degrees for them and getting them accredited.”

“Random House just bought the German rights to the Indexed book.”

Gary Platt, p. 28

Orit, p. 15

Jessica Hagy, p. 19

“We are always working on big projects. … It still comes down to great strategy, incredible design, and attention to detail and service.”

Our contributors say ...

“I’d travel the great state of California and spend five years driving throughout it. I’d document the extreme diversity in culture, race, careers, climate and whatever else. I’d live with people a few weeks at a time, and then I’d publish a book about my photographic experience with an enclosed DVD and a Web site as well.” Diego James Robles, Ohio Today photographer, Ohio News Photographers Association’s Student Photographer of the Year

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“I would love to write for Ms. or work in the Girl Scouts organization promoting its benefits to a new generation of young girls. ” Samantha Pirc, junior and Ohio Today writer

“Ideally, I would like to investigate the long-term (weekly, monthly, yearly) hormonal control of blood glucose in relation to eating and physical activity in healthy individuals and those with metabolic diseases.” Michael Kushnick, p. 13

“I would create my own line of comic books and interactive Web comics with my own cast of characters and plots. The project could last my whole life, and I know I could not be happier doing anything else.” Jeremy Blazer, senior and contributing graphic designer


When was the last time . . . You felt the bricks of Athens under your feet You heard ‘Alma Mater, Ohio’ chime from Cutler Hall You stood up and cheered with the Marching 110 You were inspired by a teacher to learn more about yourself and your world You talked and laughed with friends into the morning You felt so completely connected to one place

Now is the time . . . To come home. To reconnect. To get involved. Your Ohio University Alumni Association

Your Ohio University Alumni Association is proudly celebrating its 150th anniversary. Learn more about this special year and show your OHIO pride! For more details, visit us online at: www.ohioalumni.org.


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Ohio Today is going green. And we need your help. Ohio Today will debut an upgraded digital edition of the magazine this fall, and for the first time, we’re excited to offer you the choice of a print or online-only subscription.

Why not read Ohio Today online?

This will reduce our consumption of paper, ink and other resources, making our environmental footprint that much smaller. E-mail us now at ohiotoday@ohio.edu if you prefer to receive the digital edition only! You’ll receive Ohio Today via e-mail instead of in your mailbox.

Same magazine, same stories — just green! (And every Bobcat knows it’s cool to be green!)

Ohio Today Summer 2009  

Ohio Today Summer 2009

Ohio Today Summer 2009  

Ohio Today Summer 2009